Idle Life

Tell Ron I’m sorry

Paula has been doing a fantastic job of getting healthy.  She’s been exercising regularly, she’s been cooking healthy and, thankfully, she’s been encouraging me to eat well and exercise with her.  Yesterday was a pretty good day for me for exercise and quantity of food.  Typically I’ll have a snack or two during the day and/or have one really bad meal (e.g. hamburger, fries, soda and a milkshake) but yesterday I just had Wheaties (The Breakfast of ChampionsTM), an Italian sandwich (which isn’t especially healthy but I didn’t pile chips and a soda), a small handful of GORP and finally, for dinner, Paula made whole-wheat pasta with vegetables on top (she makes it with a touch of butter, olive oil and some parmesan on top… healthy and tasty).  After dinner Paula made us go running.  To top it off, I wound up staying up late (I blame Dick, Trina and Mike) which would typically dictate a late-night-snack before going to bed, but I resisted the temptation and just went to bed with a glass of water.

All this clean living must have a payoff, right?

So here’s the thing, I was out to breakfast eating my fruit cup when I realized the chef had screwed up and there was no fruit in my fruit cups (because if one fruit cup is good, two fruit cups are better).  All I had was just the pastry containers.  I wasn’t sure if I was right in expecting fruit so I asked Ron Howard, who was having breakfast with me, if he had fruit in his pastry cup.  He confirmed it, I was missing my fruit.  Ron was extraordinarily polite about it considering I really was making a fool of myself by teasing him mercilessly in front of Kiki Dee.  I was feeling pretty silly for making fun of Ron Howard but things only got worse when the Roman centurions were unable to control the crowd after throwing gold and treasure into the audience.  As the crowd spilled over into the center of the stadium the other gladiators and I were forced to grab the ropes of the Ligers to prevent them from attacking the crowd.  I figured if I could pull hard enough on the rope while planting my feet on the animal’s neck I’d be able to keep it from biting me but it was still able to squirm around and get a hold of my leg.  I compensated by sticking my foot in front of its face length-wise because I have size twelve and-a-half feet and it wouldn’t be able to open its mouth that wide.  Turns out it was very cute when it gnawed on my shoe.

I have the weirdest feakin’ dreams.  I think I’ll go make myself some breakfast… and I’m staying away from fruit cups for the foreseeable future.

Dogs Idle


Just about a year after her first attack of vestibulitis Nala has had another attack.  Paula was at home this time when it happened and it was nowhere near as bad as the first attack.  This time she didn’t have the obvious eye twitching (horizontal nystagmus) and didn’t get sick.  I took her out first thing in the morning yesterday before going to work and she showed no signs of any distress.  A few hours later, however, I received a call from Paula letting me know Nala had another episode.

Paula took Nala to the vet as a precaution and all the blood tests came back negative (as expected) but we wanted to be sure.  One test the vet performed on Nala was to roll her onto her back and check her eyes.  As soon as Nala was inverted the horizontal nystagmus presented immediately (a sign that this episode was indeed a recurrence of the “old dog vestibulitis”, also called “old dog vertigo”, “Idiopathic Peripheral Vestibular Disease” or simply “vestibular disease”).  The vet said it’s extremely rare for a dog to have multiple attacks, so I suppose we can be proud our dog is so “special”. 🙂

Nala’s first attack was 5/30/2004.  I’d say it took Nala a week before she was walking on her own last time, but she fell down often.  After a couple weeks she seemed pretty steady but it was a few months before she could shake her head without falling down.  Her second attack happened yesterday, 6/7/2005.

Some tips:
Get a comfortable harness for your dog that wraps around your dogs chest  Having something that can help you to lift and support your dog “luggage-style” gives the animal the ability to move around.  Physical therapy is great for dogs as well as humans.  The more the dog is able to get the sensation of walking upright the more it will be able to learn where its body should be.

To help your dog eat straddle them with your thighs holding their mid-section in place.  Nala is able to stand on her own but has trouble eating because anytime she puts her head down she looses her balance.  By standing over her I can prevent her from swaying side-to-side, allowing her to eat comfortably.  Some dogs may be defensive about their food, so be aware that being close to your pet may make them uncomfortable, you may be able to help them relax by facing the opposite direction, supporting them but have your back to their head.

The slick floors that are funny when your normal dog is chasing you are an absolute ice rink for a dog with vestibulitis.  Your dog can slip an go down very hard because they don’t know which way to twist.  It’s important you help the dog balance, especially in the first few days of re-learning to walk.  Putting down old towels or blankets can help your dog to keep its footing.

With the loss of the inner ear for balance your pet will be relying on muscle memory and eyesight for balance.  This means when it’s dark your dog will be more off balance.  Leaving a night light on will help to stave off confusion and be sure the area you take your dog out to go to the bathroom is also well lit.  Your pet has gone from using muscles, eyesight and inner ear for balance down to just muscles and eyesight.

Make it a point to walk your dog over to the water.  You may not notice your dog periodically wander over to take a drink during the day, they get thirsty and do want to get a drink.  If they can’t walk over on their own, they’ll really be parched.

Finally: don’t panic.  As doting “parents” Paula and I are both very protective of Nala and it pains us to see her out of sorts.  Remember that your pet is uncomfortable, but probably not in tremendous distress (esp. if they are still eating and drinking).  As our good friend Tom pointed out last night: “it looks like the tail’s not broken.”  Nala responded with an enthusiastic tail thumping on her bed.

Idle Life Net Tech


Well, it’s been a long time (10 years) with Network Solutions but I’ve finally gotten off my lazy butt and moved my domains over to GoDaddy.  The primary reason was to get away from paying $35 a year per domain and bring it down to closer to ten bucks a year.  A little effort to save a little money.

There will be only one casualty in the transfer: the history.  There isn’t much documented in the Network Solutions registration but I always enjoyed being able to go look at the whois record for and find the registration date.  I guess I’ll have to turn to this blog entry to reminisce from now on. – Record created on 27-Jul-1995

Along with this date I might as well record the story behind the registration.

Before working at Microsoft I had a job at a small “start-up” (it wasn’t starting, so I use the term “start-up” loosely) named ResNova Software, Inc.  ResNova’s primary product was a BBS which, among other things, had functionality to aggregate Usenet newsgroups.  Back then there was far less garbage in the newsgroups but there was, strangely enough, a large number of posting from some “John Doe” fellow with the address  Being the curious sort I decided to investigate who owned… turns out no one did.  Being the mischievous sort I decided to register it (domain names were free back then… I’m also the cheap sort).  I used to periodically check the account and respond to the occasional “are you real?” or “test” e-mail messages (and they were occasional).  The account was also useful when I was a test lead on Outlook Express and Entourage for the Macintosh, lots of spam to throw at the product.  Sadly, I can no longer play celebrity as is overrun with e-mail.  Surprisingly the bulk of the mail is no longer spam, it’s bounce messages from all the test mail, junk mail and virus mail purporting to be from can receive around 250 bounce messages per minute (my previous ISP threatened to kick me off his servers because just the mail connection attempts to were melting his servers, there weren’t even any accounts set up).

Today is mainly a traffic generator for my blog.  People show up randomly looking for either the U.S. Department of Energy (which was but is now but still didn’t register, genius!) the Doe Fund ( and, at one time, the Canadian Department of Environment (which used to be but appears to be no longer, it’s moved on, it’s an ex-site…*).  Just for grins I let my online life flow into the real world, my Volvo station wagon has the custom plate “doe com” (if you came here because I cut you off on the freeway, I honestly apologize… it had nothing to do with you, I’m just impatient and meant no offense).

The info above covers just about everything, but it doesn’t answer the most frequently asked question: “Is for sale?”  The answer is, “yes”, of course, everything has its price.  Each time I’m asked I sit down and seriously consider selling the domain name.  I don’t, after all, have a mail server set up, I don’t use the domain name as the identity of my web site and even the traffic it generates is nothing but a cost to me.  Why not sell?  Turns out I’m very sentimental and really don’t want to sell it, but because everything has to have a price I’ve set the price at an $3 Million to cover legal fees, taxes and, of course, pain and suffering for the loss.  I figure that amount is suitably ridiculous to drive off almost all buyers and if someone does come along willing to pony up the ridiculous fee (heck, it’s a three-letter, easy to spell .com domain) I’ll take the money, give half to Uncle Sam, buy something really nice for my wife and put the rest in the bank for retirement.

Oh, I’ll spend a little on my car too, I need new tires for my Volvo… they don’t seem to last for some reason.  Must be something wrong with the car.

* Much love and many apologies to John Cleese

Note from Reeves to Reeves: Before moving the WhoIs showed “ – Record created on 10-May-2002”.  I know the domain is older than that but I’ll have to do some research to find out when I first registered it.

Idle Microsoft Photography Tech

Raw diet

The various competing digital RAW formats have been a boon to professional and pro-sumer photographers but to date the support for them has been limited to the manufacturer’s software and expensive photo editing software.  Yesterday’s news that MS is going to support RAW in the OS is great news, I hope it will drive some serious improvements for the format (compatibility, closed standards and more abound).  Just having the big camera manufacturers talking about the same topic is fabulous.

More info:
Press release:
Omar’s comments:
Sean Alexander’s comments:
MS How-to article on dealing with RAW in XP: